In this video, Andreas Polz, SVP Technology, Innovation & Standards, Beyond Now, talks to TM Forum, explaining the value of using TM Forum Open APIs as enablers for innovation and new revenue streams in the platform economy.

Watch the full video below.


Video overview

There are two main fields where APIs are important. One is in internal system integration, where you’re using the APIs inside your own data center, between applications, in the system integration between those huge software packages that you run on your servers.

And the other field is where you expose your APIs to the outside: to your partners, to your customers, to your suppliers, to your vendors, to other players in the industries. And that’s equally important.

It is a domain where new things are created. When you are exposing your APIs sometimes you don’t even know what innovation other people might create using your APIs – that has happened again and again – and we should learn from that. That there is a platform economy and an API economy that is out there, that is happening, that is all about innovation – and this innovation drives growth in revenue, new opportunities and new ways of partnering. And the APIs are just one thing that are essential for that.

I think the importance is very clear to most people but some shy away from the investment necessary, the idea of bringing what they already have up to standard.

Some people come to us and say: “I get that there is a standard now and that we should be following this. But there is so much effort involved. What should I do about the hundreds of APIs I already have? Who is going to give me the money to redo everything now according to your new standards?”

And my answer is: “It is not so important to religiously comply to every single API out there. The one thing that is of top importance is conformance to the API guidelines that we have created in the TM Forum API program. These have been grown and nurtured – we are now moving forward to version four of those guidelines, and they are continually maturing. They provide guidance for how you should work with APIs in general and how they should be designed. Compliance to one particular API is also helpful, but it’s a point to point question. You should be investing, especially when you are exposing your APIs to other players in an ecosystem, in the compliance and the compatibility of this particular API. But that is something that can be managed with tools.

There are lots of tools that we use in the TM Forum API program – we can teach you about their use, and how to ensure that your current investment in APIs is not wasted, but is something you can now evolve to the next phase. By using these tools and these gateways to expose your existing APIs in a new way that is standard compliant and allows innovation to grow, new fields of revenue will pop up, by things you haven’t designed, but that your partners or other players in the industry find and create based on what you are now able to expose.

The standards are not something that should block you or eat up your investment budget. The standards are something to help you, to expose your wealth of functions that you have, and to allow other people to create something new. Together you create a new business, and new revenue streams that will allow you to thrive in the future. Compliance to the standards should not be seen as a blocker, but as an opportunity.

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